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‘Red diesel use can continue at agricultural shows and ploughing matches’

Ploughing match competitors will still be permitted to use red diesel after April 1.

A Scottish MP says he has received verbal assurances that red diesel use will continue to be permitted at agricultural shows and ploughing matches.

Conservative MP for Banff and Buchan, David Duguid, said he was given the assurances during a meeting with Exchequer Secretary Helen Whately MP.

Mr Duguid arranged the meeting to seek clarity on changes to rules surrounding the use of red diesel, which come into force on April 1.

It follows warnings last month from the chairman of a leading Scottish ploughing match that the new rules could result in vital agricultural skills being lost.

Grampian Supermatch chairman Alick Anderson said prohibiting the use of red diesel in tractors at ploughing matches will hit education and skills sharing within the sector.

Speaking following his meeting with the Treasury, Mr Duguid said he had been told that red diesel use would be permitted for agricultural shows, ploughing matches, and by farmers who help clear snow and cut hedges.

David Duguid MP.
David Duguid MP.

“Verbal assurance has now been given to me from the minister that operations within the confines of agricultural shows and ploughing matches will remain eligible to use red diesel as before,” said Mr Duguid.

“Red diesel will also continue to be allowed for use by farmers for the likes of clearing snow and cutting hedges and verges.”

He said the assurances would be welcome news for agricultural show organisers who had been concerned about any future costs associated with red diesel rule changes.

“In Banff and Buchan, agricultural events and ploughing matches have helped shape our fantastic area for generations and I’m delighted the UK Government has recognised the value these events provide,” added Mr Duguid.

“I’m glad clarification has been provided on these issues and I await further detail on other aspects of the eligibility criteria for farmers.”

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